The Impact of Publicly Provided Early Childhood Education Programs on District‐Level Test Scores

18 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2016

See all articles by Benjamin Artz

Benjamin Artz

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - College of Business

David Welsch

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

While the existing literature largely finds that standardized test scores are positively associated with participation in pre‐kindergarten programs at the student level, there is little research on the policy effect of publicly providing these programs to entire school districts. We attempt to partially fill this void by examining the effect that publicly provided pre‐kindergarten and full‐day kindergarten programs have on fourth grade student achievement in math and reading at the district level. The models utilize panel data from districts in Wisconsin along with fixed effects estimations. We find that once time‐invariant unobserved heterogeneity of a district is accounted for, preschool programs have small but significant impacts on a cohort's future math scores, particularly in less‐educated communities. Additionally, there is no evidence that preschool or full‐day kindergarten has an impact on future reading scores at the district level.

JEL Classification: I20, I28

Suggested Citation

Artz, Benjamin and Welsch, David, The Impact of Publicly Provided Early Childhood Education Programs on District‐Level Test Scores (January 2016). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 34, Issue 1, pp. 89-106, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716483 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12128

Benjamin Artz (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - College of Business ( email )

United States

David Welsch

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater - Department of Economics ( email )

800 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
United States

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